SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Justin Veatch was a promising young musician who played the piano and guitar and dreamed of signing on with a major record company.
But all that came crashing to a halt in 2008 when the Yorktown teen was found dead of a heroin overdose in his own bed.
But his music, and his other contributions to the world, did not die with him.
Justin’s dad, Jeffrey, discovered his late son’s unpublished songs on his computer files and they have been recorded and distributed by many other young musicians.
Jeffery Veatch is seeking meaning in Justin’s untimely passing in other ways – he is making it his mission to alert to parents and teens about the dangers of substance abuse and the scourge of heroin.
Veatch spoke Wednesday, March 23, to an audience of Sleepy Hollow parents. He had addressed students earlier in the day as part of the district’s “March Kindness” series.
Veatch urged students to speak up when they suspect a friend is abusing drugs or is otherwise in trouble.
Don’t wait for their often-clueless parents to catch on that there is a problem, he advised them.
The Veatch family tragedy is now the subject of an independent film, “Whispering Spirits.” The film was put together by a team of filmmakers from the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Veatch has also created the Justin Veatch Fund, which provides summer programs and scholarships to student musicians.
Earlier this month, Sleepy Hollow parents and students attended a presentation about social media and privacy issues made by retired New York City Detective Thomas Grimes.